Zimbabwe: SADC Communiqué

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Lusaka — THIS is the full text of a summit communiqué issued by Sadc Heads of Government on Saturday 12 April, 2008.

Current Sadc Chairperson and Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa called an extra-ordinary summit to discuss electoral developments in Zimbabwe.

SADC COMMUNIQUE

2008 FIRST EXTRA-ORDINARY SADC SUMMIT OF HEADS OF STATE AND GOVERNMENT ISSUED ON 13 APRIL 2008, IN LUSAKA, ZAMBIA

1.          The Extra-ordinary Summit of the Heads of State and Government or their representatives of SADC met in Lusaka, Zambia to discuss the political developments in Zimbabwe following the recent Presidential, Senatorial, National Assembly and Local Authority elections held on 29 March 2008.

2.          The meeting was chaired by His Excellency, President Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa S.C, Chairperson of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and President of the Republic of Zambia.

3.          The Extra-ordinary Summit was attended by the following Heads of State and Government:

Zambia

H.E President Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa S.C,

Chairperson of SADC

Angola

H.E   President Jose Eduardo dos Santos

Chairperson of Organ on Politics, Defense and Security Cooperation

Botswana

H.E President LT. Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama

Democratic Republic of Congo

H.E President Joseph Kabila

Mozambique

H.E President Armando Emilio Guebuza

Namibia

H.E President Hifikepunye Pohamba

South Africa

H.E President Thabo Mbeki

Malawi

H.E President Dr. Bingu wa Mutharika

Lesotho

Hon. Deputy Prime Minister Lesao Lehohla

Mauritius

Hon. James B. David, Minister for Local Government

Swaziland

Hon. Charles S. Magongo, Minister for Public Service and Information

Tanzania

Hon. Seif. A. Iddi, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

Zimbabwe

Hon. Emmerson D. Mnangagwa, Minister of Rural Housing and Social Amenities

Madagascar

H.E. Ambassador Dr. Dennis Andiamandroso

4.          In his opening remarks, the SADC Chairperson welcomed their Excellencies, Head of State and Government to Lusaka, Zambia and indicated that the purpose of the Extra-ordinary Summit was to discuss the recent events in Zimbabwe following the elections in Zimbabwe in an open, objective and honest manner. In this regard, SADC re-affirmed its commitment to assist the parties to deal with the current situation.

5.          The Extra-ordinary Summit was held inline with the SADC's objectives to promote common political values and systems transmitted through institutions that are democratic, legitimate and effective to facilitate the consolidation of democracy, peace, security and stability.

6.          The Summit welcomed and congratulated H.E President LT. Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama, President of Botswana on his assumption of office.

7.          The Extra-ordinary Summit noted and appreciated the briefing by H.E President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, Chairperson on the Organ on Politics, Defense and Security Cooperation on the Report of the SADC Electoral Observer Mission deployed in Zimbabwe during the election.

8.          The Summit noted that the Report of the Chairperson of Organ, on the elections in Zimbabwe indicated that the electoral process was acceptable to all parties. Summit commended the Chairperson of the Organ for the manner in which the Observer Mission was handled. At the time of holding the Extra-ordinary summit, the results of the Presidential election had not been announced by the election authorities

9.          The Summit commended the people of Zimbabwe for their peaceful and orderly manner in which they conducted themselves before, during and after the elections

10.         The Summit commended the Government of Zimbabwe for ensuring that the elections were conducted in a peaceful environment

11.         The Summit congratulated and thanked the SADC Facilitator, President Mbeki and his Facilitation team, for the role they had played in helping to contribute to the successful holding of elections. Summit requested President Mbeki to continue in his role as a Facilitator on Zimbabwe on the outstanding issues.

12.         The Extra-ordinary Summit noted and appreciated the brief by the delegation of the Government of Zimbabwe on the elections held in Zimbabwe. The Government of Zimbabwe indicated that the elections were held in a free and peaceful environment. The Government expresses concerns at instances of inaccuracy of some figures relating to the House of Assembly, Senate and Presidential elections

13.         Members States, with exception of Zimbabwe, held informal consultations with Presidential candidates, Mr. Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and Independent candidate, Dr. Simba Makoni. Both, opposition leaders confirmed that the elections were held in a free, fair and peaceful environment. Whilst they do not have a problem with the election results of senatorial, Parliamentary and Local Authority elections, they expressed concerns on the delay in announcing the results as well as lack of their participation in the verification process of the Presidential results currently being conducted by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC)

14.         The Summit urged the electoral authorities in Zimbabwe that verification and release of results are expeditiously done in accordance with due process of law. Summit also urged all the parties in the electoral process in Zimbabwe to accept the results when they are announced. By due process of law, Summit understood to mean that:

a)          the verification and counting must be done in the presence of candidates and/or their agents, if they so wish, who must all sign the authenticity of such verification and counting

b)          SADC offers to send Election Observer Mission who would be present throughout such verification and counting.

15.         If such verification and counting makes it necessary for the parties to go for a run-off, the Government is urged to ensure that the run-off elections are held in secure environment. SADC offers to send an Election Observer Mission.

16.          The Summit appeals to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to ensure strict compliance of the rule of law and SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic elections.

17.         The Summit expressed its deep appreciation for the gracious hospitality extended to them by the Government of Zambia.

Done at Mulungushi International Conference Centre, Lusaka, Zambia, 13 April 2008.

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